Forrester assembled a collection of predictions for the Top Technology Trends 2014 and Beyond. Most are intuitive when you consider how technology is infiltrating processes and converging information from diverse sources. All of this suggests a heightened need and greater role for IT. However, one predictions claims that business will take over ownership of process and intelligence, and “wrestle control away from IT.”
They suggest that IT is losing control of business intelligence platforms, tools, and applications because of IT’s inability to operate at the ever-increasing, breakneck speed of modern businesses. Modern users, according to Forrester, “demand more user friendly, self-service features to automate ad hoc processes without expensive and scarce IT resources.”
Conversely, in his recent report, Group Test—Outside IT, Barclay Rae sees this transitional period as a “time of huge opportunity for IT organizations to reinvent themselves.” Rather than become marginalized, or “lose control,” he thinks IT can increase their role by becoming the catalyst for change, and the facilitators of innovative new processes for the business.
Of course, Forrester’s and Rae’s visions may seem mutually exclusive. Not necessarily. Even if business does take control, they will still need collaborative IT members to help provide solutions, maximize technology opportunities and strategies, and provide support.
Both visions suggest we will not have the same relationship between IT and business as we do now. New roles will form, and either side will have to take on parts of the other’s skillsets for the best collaborations. In the future, the superstars will be those well-versed in both technology and business.
But you also need the right environment and tools for this business and IT collaboration. A vendor should facilitate what Rae calls a ‘supply chain’ approach to business processes in order to avoid the outdated siloed approach. According to Rae, this fits with the acceptance of “proper end-to-end solutions and collaborative working.”
An “outside of IT” vision will enable your business to capitalize on cross-departmental tools and applications to carry out collaborative end-to-end solutions. Rae cites tools like the service catalog, service portal, automated fulfillment processing and approvals as meaningful steps along the way to IT’s end goal.
And what is this end goal? An easy-to-use system, where business members can access self-service features and automate processes themselves.
Once you find the vendor who can provide the tools and flexible system needed, you can allow business and IT to find the best solutions together.
What are you doing to integrate business and IT?
IT and Business Integration is on our list of 10 Hot Topics Facing the ITSM Professional.